Mgr Charlie Brown new Papal Nuncio for Ireland

This really is a bombshell - and a sign that Pope Benedict is determined to do whatever it takes to reform the Church. With the catastrophe that is Ireland at the moment, especially in matters concerning the Church, we might have expected a seasoned diplomat from Italy - though in fact that has already been tried.

Mgr Charlie Brown (of the Archdiocese of New York) is 52, has several degrees under his belt, has worked in a parish in the Bronx, and has spent many years in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He actually has not worked in any official diplomatic capacity. Mgr Brown has immediately been appointed as a titular Archbishop - this is considered fitting for the post to which he has been assigned.

He will need all our prayers in the appointment, but God bless Pope Benedict for stepping outside the normal cursus honorum in this imaginative and daring appointment.

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